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Crown and Nobility: England 1272-1461 Paperback – Illustrated, Dec 16 1999


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Crown and Nobility traces the development of the relationship between kings and nobles in late medieval England. It shows how the differing abilities and personalities of the late medieval English kings powerfully affected their relationship with the nobility. The author examines the contrast between the dominant style of Edward I and both the weakness of Edward II and the chivalric reputation of Edward III, and reveals how the ineptitude of Henry VI did much to provoke the political crisis of the mid-fifteenth century, which led to the downfall of the House of Lancaster.

Much of the political history of late medieval England was played out against a background of war, and Anthony Tuck vividly describes the Welsh and Scottish wars, the great victories in France, and the final debacle under Henry VI. He shows how success and setback in war crucially affected the relationship between the king and his nobles.

For this new edition the author has revised the original text to take account of recent scholarship. The book now includes a new epilog discussing historiographical developments since the book was first published. There is also an enlarged and updated bibliography.

About the Author

Anthony Tuck is Emeritus Professor of Medieval History at the University of Bristol. He was previously Master of Collingworth College at the University of Durham and Senior Lecturer in Medieval History at Lancaster University. His other books include Richard II and the English Nobility (1973) and Wars and Border Societies in the Middle Ages (edited with Anthony Goodman, 1992). He also edited and wrote an introduction to the collection of James Sherborne's articles entitled War, Politics and Culture in Fourteenth-Century England (1994).

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The chronicler Walter of Guisborough wrote of Edward I at the time of his accession that he was 'handsome, tall and elegant, standing head and shoulders above ordinary people, and young of age, not yet having completed his thirtieth year'. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Good study of high-level politics in Anglo-Norman England Oct. 31 2001
By Michael K. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
During the first two centuries following the Conquest, the English system developed two characteristics that distinguished it from the rest of western Europe: The monarchy became highly centralized and exercised its authority through institutions that were generally subordinate to the royal will, and the higher nobility was not merely regional but sought to exercise political influence directly over the king and his ministers. The Court was the center of all power in the country, far more so than in France or Germany. Nor was the English nobility a caste, as in France, but might be considered rather to include all men of knightly rank and above -- perhaps 5,000 by the mid-13th century. There was not a sharp distinction between the relatively small number of men who bore titles and their followers because of the longstanding fellowship among those who bore arms. Nevertheless, those who opposed King John and Henry III represented the wealthiest and most influential segment of the nobility, and Tuck thinks this led to a greater division between the titled and the lesser landowning class in the later medieval period. And when the great barons found in 1327 that they could remove the wholly unsatisfactory Henry II, their self-image and policies changed and no succeeding monarch was ever quite absolute. From the accession of Edward I to the deposition of Edward VI, the relationship between Crown and nobility evolved radically, thanks in large part to what Tuck calls the "unfortunate personalities" of Edward II, Richard II, and Henry VI.


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